Volume 17 Issue 1 | Winter 2023 A Quarterly Publication of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine A Quarterly Publication of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine President s Report 6 New Members 7 Director s Report 8 Manac 18 Also in this issue... SYL VER Logging Inc. Page 14
PLC Staff Executive Director Dana Doran ▪ email@example.com Membership Services Manager Jessica Clark ▪ firstname.lastname@example.org Safety and Training Coordinator Donald Burr ▪ email@example.com Office Coordinator Vanessa Tillson ▪ firstname.lastname@example.org The Logger’s Voice Editor and Designer Jon Humphrey Communications and Photography ▪ email@example.com Advertising Jessica Clark ▪ firstname.lastname@example.org © 2023 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine All material (“content”) is protected by copyright under U.S. Copyright laws and is the property of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) or the party credited as the provider of the content. For more information call (207) - 688 - 8195 SYL-VER Logging Inc. 14 Supporting Member Spotlight Manac® 18 Also Inside 4 Calendar 5 Events 6 President’s Report 7 New Members 8 Executive Director’s report 13 Golf tournaments 26 Boots 2 Roots 28 Trucking 32 Safety 38 Maine Forest Service 42 WW London at AMC fly-in in D.C. 43 Master Logger 44 ALC updates 48 Congressional updates Board of Directors Will Cole, President Chuck Ames, 1st Vice President Duane Jordan, 2nd Vice President Kurt Babineau, Secretary Andy Irish, Treasurer Tony Madden, Past President Aaron Adams Brent Day Marc Greaney Steve Hanington Robert Linkletter Jim Nicols Randy Kimball Ron Ridley Wayne Tripp Gary Voisine Aquarterly publication of: The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine 108 Sewall St., P.O. Box 1036 Augusta, ME 04332 Phone: 207.688.8195 www.maineloggers.com
Cover: M.L. Pelletier Trucking Inc. truck hauling for SYL-VER Logging. Photo courtesy of driver Darren Kelly. Story page 14.
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The PLC is always seeking news from our Members that showcases our industry’s professionalism, generosity, and ingenuity.
Send ideas to email@example.com
5 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023
Do you have news to share?
Hello everyone, Serving on the board of PLC has been a somewhat time consuming but rewarding experience. I've become friends with the movers and shakers of the industry. People who have dedicated immense amounts of time, talents and resources into this effort called PLC. What began as a few visionary people has become the solid outlet of safety resources, training, Maine's only college training program for mechanical logging, Master Logger Certification® and very respected representation at the State House.
This year one of PLC's founding members,Andy Irish, became president ofALC, making the third founding member to do so nationally. I bring this all up because we live in a nation that just celebrated Thanksgiving. I suspect most of you were like me and ate too much. We as a nation have been blessed in abundance. That's not an accident. The success of this country is because: 1. We were founded on Godly principles. The nation that honors God will be blessed. 2. The selflessness of those who put others above themselves (a Godly principle). Sacrifice is the purest form of giving.
That form of sacrifice was abundantly clear this spring at our annual meeting's auction.Aroom full of financially taxed loggers gave until it hurt. It made taking the gavel of president an honor. Selflessness inspires. The more people gave the more you wanted to follow.Anyone in that room who didn't know what a logger was left with an impression that will resonate for years to come. That's why representation is so important.
I've had the pleasure of sitting on this board with many who sacrifice their time, talent, and treasure for no immediate or direct benefit in the short term. Instead they have a heart for the betterment of the industry and people involved in it.Asacrifice that inspired me to follow.
As we enter into the Christmas season and reflect on the ultimate sacrifice for the good of mankind , remember the One who made that possible.Also don't take for granted those who sacrifice for the good of the industry.
Freedom isn't free and the world is run by those who show up. I know I speak for the whole board when I say there's always room for one more.
Merry Christmas, Will
Logging Contractors of Maine
From the President
By Will Cole
Welcome New Members
Paradis Logging LLC. of Wellington joined the PLC as a new Contractor Member in November of 2022. The company has a professional staff of 2. For more information contactAndrew Paradis at (207) 570-8041 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
D and T Logging Inc. of West Enfield joined the PLC as a new Affiliated Contractor in November of 2022. The company has a professional staff of 2. For more information contact Dale Ireland at (207) 290-1930 or email email@example.com.
Skowhegan Savings Bank of Skowhegan Maine joined the PLC as a new Preferred Supporting Member in October of 2022. Skowhegan Savings Bank was founded in 1869 and is based in Skowhegan, Maine. Skowhegan Savings Bank currently operates with 11 branches located in Maine. For more information contact Andrew Fortin-Trimble at 207-4312426 or email afortintrimble@skowhegansavings. com
7 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023
Not a member but interested in joining the PLC?
Contact Jessica at (207) 688-8195 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
the Executive Director
It’s hard to believe, but we’ve closed out another year here at the PLC. The PLC will begin its 28th year representing logging and trucking businesses in the state in 2023. So much has changed since a brave group of businessmen got together to chart their own path, but at the same time, so much has not and the PLC’s relevance and presence continues to grow year after year.
2023 is also the beginning of my ninth year working for this organization and the best group of businesspeople in the state. The PLC has grown immensely over the last nine years, and I truly do believe that the best is yet to come. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else and I take great pride every day
trying to defend the great work that our members do in the woods.
As we begin anew this January and start another voyage around the sun, I always feel that it is important to reflect on what just occurred before moving forward. As far as I’m concerned, our past is just as important as our future, and we should always make sure we have learned from it before moving forward.
What’s different this year is that the view in the rearview mirror looks strikingly similar, regardless of where you’ve been.
Normally, the view behind you should be just that, history, and the view before you should be new.
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Why does it feel that the view in front and the view from behind look just about the same?
Have any of you seen the movie, “Groundhog Day”? The comedy with Bill Murray that was released in 1993 and still makes rounds on cable TV annually. Bill Murray, a TV weatherman from Pittsburg visits Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on February 2nd to see if the groundhog will see its shadow. Meanwhile, he wakes up every morning to the same song and repeats the exact same day for what seems like a full year. It feels to me like we’re living in a real-life version of Groundhog Day here right now.
Example #1 let’s look at what happened in the
election on November 8, 2022.
In what was supposed to be a stereotypical midterm election, where the party in control loses seats to the party not in control, almost the opposite occurred. Here in Maine, it was essentially a Democratic sweep by the majority party. In the House of Representatives, Democratic control stayed virtually the same, 82-67-2. In 2020, it was 80-67-4. Independents caucus with the Democrats so there really is no change.
In the Maine Senate, while some seats may have moved from D to R and R to D, again, it’s the same as it was after the 2020 election, 22-13, with Democrats in control and Senator Troy Jackson re-elected for his third
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023 9 Doran Continued Page 10
PLC Member and Master Logger George Merrill and Son Logging in Mt. Vernon in Nov. 2022.
term as Senate President.
And finally, in the Governor’s race, Janet Mills was reelected by a large margin, ensuring control by the Democrats, in the House, Senate and Governor’s office for the next two years.
And as everyone knows, at the national level, Democrats actually picked up one seat in the Senate and the only minor change was in the House of Representatives with Republicans seizing control of the House with a swap of 9 seats.
It’s really hard to believe, but everything looks about the same to me. In a time in our history where divided government is probably needed now more than ever, we have at least two more years of things operating about the same.
As Example #2, many of our members applied for the second round of the Forest Growth Initiative (FGI) from the Maine Technology Institute. Applications were due by in the middle of October and an announcement was made on Friday, December 9th which declared what companies will receive the funding.
FGI Phase 2, as this latest round was called, was a new grant program from the state, which was supposed to provide much needed capital, “specifically focused on either strategic projects within the state that address significant challenges and long-term threats to the industry, or projects at existing facilities which significantly improve the productivity and competitiveness of the facility. These strategic projects will tackle global market shifts in supply and demand, supply chain disruptions and new technologies that impact the growing, processing and use of natural resources from this key sector of Maine’s economy.” The grant application actually made applicants demonstrate how the projects would benefit the logging industry directly.
$14 million was available in the latest request for proposals and suggested expenses may include:
• Business-related equipment purchases (capital or
• Start-up costs for new programs and/or new markets which may require some initial investment.
• Payroll costs and expenses for existing or new hires.
• Rent or mortgage payments for business facilities (unless otherwise waived by lessor/lender).
• Utilities payments.
• Purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) required by the business.
• Design expense and labor expense associated with management of the project.
• Replenishing inventory or other necessary reopening and/or operating expenses.
• Construction expense on all capital projects.
In total, there were 62 applications for these funds and final awards were made to 19 companies.
If my math serves me correctly based upon discussions with many of our members this fall, I would guess that almost 50% of the 62 applications for these funds were made by logging businesses. Surprisingly, not one logging business that applied for funding did so with any success.
A program that states specifically that it must help logging businesses directly and incentivize growth in the industry, really only went to the same old businesses that probably didn’t really need the money at all. Yet, the businesses that desperately needed the money, like the logging business that wanted to invest in new equipment or grow its business by adding a firewood operation, got left on the outside looking in, once again.
Instead, companies that made a killing during the pandemic or are doing extremely well now because of high natural gas prices, were given up to a million dollars each. In fact, $8 million of the $14 million went to well established companies in Maine, some of which
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Doran Continued from Page 96
made major growth announcements recently, where this grant money probably had no bearing on whether or not they would grow. One business even received $1 million for operating capital, and they have already been the recipient of close to $10 million in state/federal grants over the last two years. I don’t think I saw, “operating capital” on the list of suggested expenses.
Again, it’s Groundhog Day as usual where small family-based businesses trying to make themselves more profitable, that actually could use some public funds to help offset their risk, were left at the curb. If their company isn’t in manufacturing or didn’t issue a press release recently announcing their growth, evidently, they didn’t measure up. It’s really discouraging for those that have been hit so hard lately with lost markets, depressed pricing, and inflation in the range of 50% to have faith in their government when they get overlooked time and time again, especially when their government asked to do a photo op when this program was announced, but conveniently left them out in the end.
For Example #3, let’s look no farther than the latest debate at the Maine Legislature regarding the use of surplus funds to assist Mainers with high home heating and electric bills this winter.
While it’s very noble of state government to return funds to taxpayers, it seems to me that any program of this kind should not only be surgical, but it should be accountable and have a positive impact upon
our state. The idea that was floated by the Mills Administration and ultimately defeated by the Senate Republicans was to return $450 to each taxpayer that had an income of less than $100,000. I’m oversimplifying things here, but you get the idea.
In the plan that was proposed, to get the $450, there was no requirement other than proving you were a taxpayer who made less that a certain amount. There was also no responsibility by the taxpayer to use the funds on anything related to heat or electricity either.
As a representative of the logging industry, an industry that is micromanaged fiercely, I don’t want to be accused of trying to add regulation, but maybe instead of doing the same thing over again by handing out money which could add to inflation instead of helping it, it might be a good idea to add some accountability. As most of you know very well, inflation is generally created as a result of demand, so throwing more government money out there is only going to encourage an even greater increase in prices.
I’m not saying that I want to enter the political fray on this and make statements of who was right and who was wrong, but perhaps this is an opportunity to rethink the whole idea and do right by doing good, instead of heading down the same old path.
Wouldn’t it be better to provide taxpayer money that could circulate in the state economy, instead of vanishing to foreign countries? And wouldn’t it be better
11 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023
Doran Continued on Page 126
At some point, we need to realize that doing more of the same because it was done before, is not leading to positive change. Let’s rethink how things are done and be sure that it helps everyone and not just those in charge.
Doran Continued from Page 11 16
if instead of encouraging folks to buy more oil, which is counter intuitive to the Governor’s Climate Council initiative, that the funds get used for renewables like wood?
Just imagine for a moment if a government program encouraged folks to use cordwood, pellets or wood chips from Maine to heat their homes, but to do so, they had to show proof of payment through a rebate system. This would be an incentive-based system that not only includes accountability, but in the end, the money would circulate throughout the rural Maine economy to help loggers and truckers with desperately needed income.
Does wood have be the only source, no, but shouldn’t it be one of the potential sources so that these funds do more than just incentivizing the purchase of more oil?
I provide this last example because it’s counterintuitive to think that the next two years will be business as usual and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Hopefully, those in positions of power will start to take a more pragmatic point of view and try to do what is right for all in this state and not just for a chosen few.
We all live in Maine because we believe that it is a special place, with special characteristics and the opportunity to enjoy all this it has to offer. At some point, we need to realize that doing more of the same because it was done before, is not leading to positive change. Let’s rethink how things are done and be sure that it helps everyone and not just those in charge.
Happy New Year to all and make sure Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t get stuck in the past.
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A huge THANK YOU to the golfers, volunteers, and sponsors who participated in the annual Log A Load for Kids Golf Tournaments. Together the tournaments raised more than $115,000 - critical funds to help make miracles happen for kids receiving care at Maine’s two Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. AMERIC AN FORE ST MAN AG EMENT BBC Land, LLC A special thanks to our presenting and lead sponsors:
Maine Golf Tournament
August 25, 2023 Lake Kezar Country Club, Lovell 2023 SAVE THE DATES
2023 JaTo Highlands Golf Course, Lincoln
Tournament Friday, September 15,
FORT KENT MILLS – November 18 was a typical early winter Friday for SYL-VER Logging owners Ben and Marty Pelletier.
The brothers had returned the day before from the company’s logging camp on the Blanchette Road, deep in the woods of northwest Maine, where they had been working long days Mondays through Thursdays in recent weeks. That schedule left them Fridays back at the garage to deal with issues that piled up during the week and to plan for the next one. This week there had been plenty of issues.
An early winter storm that brought a dusting of snow to most of Maine had hit the roof of the state much
harder, dropping several inches of snow and ice across Aroostook County. Vehicle crashes had closed Route 11 north of Portage periodically for two days. SYL-VER Logging’s crew on Irving Woodlands land had shut down operations due to mud and ice, while the company’s other crew was still operating as best it could on Prentiss and Carlisle land. The north woods logging roads were treacherous – the day before a driver hauling for SYL-VER met a pickup that had no radio to call out its position and was struck, leaving one front wheel of his log truck hanging off a bridge. Both drivers were ok, but it was a close call that could have been avoided if the pickup had followed the rules of the road.
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SYL-VER Logging feller buncher operating on fresh snow in November in northern Maine. All photos courtesy of SYL-VER Logging.
SYL-VER Logging Inc.
In addition to being co-owners of SYL-VER since 2021 and managing its two crews and five full-time employees and one part-time employee, each brother also runs their own company: Ben is owner of Wiles Brook Logging based in Allagash. Marty owns M.L. Pelletier Trucking based in St. John. Logging is a tough industry at the best of times. Asked if running three companies at once on widely separated jobs makes life a challenge, the brothers laughed.
The trick is not getting discouraged,” Ben said. “I made my mind up a long time ago that there's gonna be tough days and times you’re just not gonna have any money and you’ve just got to try to power through it and
wait for better days because it's not hard to get discouraged doing this.”
Both brothers have now been logging for decades and they bought SYL-VER Logging knowing exactly what they were getting into. There are plenty of difficult days, but they are loggers to the core, love what they do, and hope they can keep doing it for a long time, until their children take over if that is what they want to do.
Logging is in the family’s blood. Ben and Marty’s grandparents, Louis and Ethel Pelletier, started logging in the 1940s. They had sawmills and started out logging with horses, then tried crawler tractors, then eventually moved on to cable skidders as logging technology evolved.
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Continued Page 16
SYL-VER Logging got its name when Marty and Ben’s parents, Sylvia and Vernon Pelletier, took over the family business decades later, continuing to adapt and grow it as the industry changed. The brothers recall the first delimber being added to the company in the late 1980s, with the first feller buncher added not long after.
Ben studied diesel hydraulics after high school and went into logging in 1993. He eventually started Wiles Brook Logging and today the company has three full employees including himself operating three feller bunchers, two John Deeres and a Tigercat with a brushing head that mainly brushes out old roads.
Marty started working in the family business in 2000 right after high school and started his own trucking business, ML Pelletier Trucking, seven years later. Today M.L. Pelletier Trucking has four trucks – three running full-time – and two cranes with one running full-time. While both brothers’ businesses have operated independently for years, the bulk of the work they have done has always been as subcontractors to SYL-VER Logging, so when Ben and Marty decided to buy SYLVER Logging when their parents were ready to retire it was a natural move for all three companies.
SYL-VER Logging is the hub company, and everything funnels through that company, so Wiles Brook and M.L. Pelletier are essentially subcontractors to SYL-VER Logging, that was the best way to do it for all of us,” Marty said.
As in most family logging businesses, spouses are vital partners. Marty’s wife, Heather, and Ben’s wife, Edie are critical to success. Ben’s son Greyden is already working in the family business. Marty’s much younger son Maverick is already very interested in equipment and logging, and his younger sister Emily says she is going to drive trucks with her brother when she grows up, giving the families hope that the fourth generation will continue logging for decades to come.
SYL-VER Logging has worked for years on commercial timberlands. The company also does small
woodlot management and buys and sells woodlots of its VER has also worked on state lands in the past. The Pelletiers do their own road maintenance, and between the three family companies and their garages can handle any job that comes their way.
In the last year or so SYL-VER has added a new Weiler skidder and a CAT delimber to its equipment lineup, and is currently in the process of building a large
SYL-VER is also close to completing the steps necessary to become Master Logger Certified®, the highest stamp of professionalism in the logging industry today.
Wood markets have been a challenge in northern Maine just as they have elsewhere in the state but in the last couple of years buyers have been paying more for softwood than they had been in a decade or more.
Meanwhile, in the hardwood market SYL-VER went from being unable to sell any to some buyers now asking for it, though that is a mixed blessing, Ben said.
“They don't pay as much for it and there are a lot of trucking logistics that just don't add up very well for us compared to harvesting and hauling spruce and fir,” Ben said. “We just don't get paid as much for it and it's a lot further for trucking.”
“With hardwood pulp you do twice the work for half the reward,” Marty agreed.
Right now, the unpredictable weather is the biggest challenge the company faces, but finding and retaining good workers is also a major concern just as in most heavy industries.
“We finally got a good handle on employees for our cutting equipment, that was a big hurdle,” Marty said.
“We started a retirement plan and we're trying to do some stuff to support longevity in the employees and retain good employees.”
While they are managing to find good employees right now, the brothers worry about the future.
“It’s a problem now but it's gonna get a lot worse,” Ben said. “So many of them are getting up into the
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SYL-VER Continued from
neighborhood of 60 years old and the next few years here things are gonna be a lot different, we’ve got a population up here that's just dropping all the time.”
The local high school draws students from a vast area from Allagash to Frenchville and down to Cross Lake. When he graduated from high school in 1991 Ben recalled there were 172 graduates in his class. When his son graduated in 2017 there were 72. When his daughter graduated in 2019 there were only 60.
“And most of them are going on to college, they're not staying around and working in the woods,” Ben said.
“A handful of people can't keep an industry going. It takes a lot of people to make it economical. The ones we do see moving to the area they're not here to work in the woods, they’re coming for the hunting and fishing and that kind of stuff, they don't move to Saint John Maine because they
want to be loggers, so I don't know what people are going to do to attract the workforce but it's going to be tough.” Such challenges and the need for an organization that speaks up for loggers and fights for the industry were among the reasons SYL-VER became a contractor member of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) after the brothers bought the company. M.L. Pelletier Trucking was already a Forest Contractor member.
“I’ve always been involved with the PLC as far back as I could be and liked what they represent so as soon as Ben and I took over SYL-VER Logging one of the first things we did was approach PLC about becoming a fullfledged member,” Marty said. “Politics affects logging more than most people realize and I've always liked how PLC is a mouthpiece if you will for the loggers. I've always been a fan of the PLC.”
17 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023
Opposite and above: SYLVER Logging harvest underway in Township T
Manac® today is the largest manufacturer of semitrailers in Canada and a leader in the manufacturing of specialty trailers in North America. Like many industries started in eastern Canada, if you follow its origins back far enough you will find roots in logging, and in the case of Manac® –to logging in northern Maine.
“Anybody with gray hair in Maine has probably heard at some time about my great grandfather Ed Lacroix,” Charles Dutil, President and CEO of Manac® ,
said. “Back in the ‘20s and ‘30s he was operating up in northern Maine, logging. You've heard about the steam engines up on Eagle Lake? He's the one that left them there.”
Edouard Lacroix was a legendary Quebecois entrepreneur who a century ago owned logging rights throughout northern Maine, eastern Quebec, and northern New Brunswick. Among many other noteworthy accomplishments, the lumber baron built the Eagle Lake and West Branch railroad in Maine’s remote Allagash region as part of a system to get pulpwood to paper mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket, and later left behind the famous “ghost locomotives” that can still be found deep in the woods of the Allagash Wilderness. His
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VILLE DE SAINT GEORGES, Quebec. – The Flying Moose logo of Manac® is a familiar a sight on the roads and highways of Maine, where the Canadian semitrailer manufacturer’s connection to the logging industry runs deep.
Photos: Opposite page, workers at the Manac® factory in St. Georges Quebec put the finishing touches on a live floor chip trailer.
Above, a chip trailer nears the end of the production line in St. Georges.
successes would become the foundation on which succeeding generations of his family built two major companies.
Lacroix’s daughter, Gilberte, and her husband Roger Dutil founded the first, Canam Steel, in 1961 in St. Gédéon, Quebec with partners in Boston. The company was formed to import raw European steel to Quebec, build steel joists for construction, and then ship them into the Boston market, thereby avoiding U.S. tariffs on imported raw steel. It was a profitable business model, and the company prospered.
Charles’s father, Marcel, began working for Canam as a young man. The growing company needed to truck its products to market and was encountering long delays waiting for trailers from existing manufacturers. It was Marcel who saw a solution to this, and an opportunity.
“So in 1966, at 24 years old, he started Manac®
doing flatbeds,” Charles said. “Then not long after somebody said if you put posts on each side, I can carry logs, so there was a request that a trailer have stakes on each side and let's call it a logging trailer. So that's how it started.”
Manac® – Canam spelled backwards – began in a barn behind Marcel’s house in St. Georges. Only eleven units were manufactured that year, but from that small start the company began to grow.
In the early 1970s, Manac® acquired Canam Steel, and the Canam Manac Group was formed, officially binding the families’ two companies together. While there have been changes over the years with Canam and Manac® in terms of their ownership and public versus private status, the family businesses have always remained closely related, and today Charles’ brother, Marc, is President and CEO of Canam, while Marcel remains Chairman of both
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Continued Page 20
Manac Continued from Page 19 companies.
Manac® offers an amazing range of vans, flatbeds and specialty trailers such as dumps, low beds, grain hoppers, chassis, chip and logging trailers, all of which are sold in Canada and the United States under the recognized brands Manac®, CPS®, Peerless®, Darkwing®, UltraPlate® , UltravanTM, Liddell® Canada, Cobra® and AlutrecTM. Manac services the heavy-duty trailer industry for the highway transportation, construction, energy, mining, forestry and agricultural sectors and manufactures its trailers in facilities located in Saint-Georges, LaurierStation and Val-des-Sources (Quebec), Penticton (British Columbia) as well as Oran (Missouri, USA).
Denis Larochelle, Sales Support Manager for Manac®, is starting his 40th year with the company and has seen Manac® grow immensely from its small beginnings. The vast Manac® factory in St. Georges, a former water pumping building the company moved into in 1967, has approximately 900 employees working in it today, many friends whom Denis has known for decades.
“We have five production lines here, doing about 100 vans a week and 32 flats,” Denis said. “Right now the main plant is here, but we're talking about more than 1350 employees in all the different facilities.”
Company-wide, he estimates Manac® and its subsidiaries are producing 8000 units per year, making Manac® first in Canada, 7th or 8th in the United States and approximately 13th globally in terms of trailer production.
The variety of trailers Manac® and its subsidiaries produce fit the needs of many industries. Trailers destined for the forest economy represent perhaps 12-15 percent of the total units produced in St. Georges, with logging trailers, chip trailers, and low beds among them, Denis said.
While the factory produces many stock trailers for its network of dealerships in North America, some are also custom, including many destined for the logging industry. Denis has fielded requests from loggers for custom modifications and additions for a long time and said Manac® prides itself on meeting those requests whenever it can.
Our goal is to get for you the maximum out of what you are doing with the trailer,” Denis said. “Tell us what you need, the challenges that you have to deal with, and we will try to find a solution for you.”
The Saint Georges plant is probably the most flexible plant in the industry in North America as far as the
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type of products we can run during the same day,” Charles said.
Steel trailers are the focus of the St. Georges factory, while Manac® manufactures a variety of aluminum trailers through subsidiaries. Galvanized trailers are something the company has gotten into in recent years, building the trailers and having them galvanized by a separate facility before they are shipped back to St. Georges for final assembly, and they are quite popular with Maine loggers due to their longevity, Derek Knutsen, Manac’s regional sales manager for Maine, said.
“Demand for galvanizing has shot through the roof,” Derek said. “Within the past five or six years we started coming up with a fully galvanized log trailer and the demand and interest in that is high because it lasts and there's no paint maintenance required. It’s all hot dipped and they hot dip up to a 53-foot trailer. We've also started doing a new paint procedure on our galvanized trailers - guys are wanting the long-lasting galvanized trailers but also wanting a look of paint.”
stand behind and support our products, in partnership with our OEM parts suppliers. Even if the warranty period has ended, if the product is deemed to have a manufacturers error, Manac® will continue to stand behind our trailers. It is this kind of support after the sale that builds long lasting relationships, of which Manac® prides itself upon," Derek said, adding that Manac® trailers are built with quality, specifically for the conditions common in Quebec and New England so they hold up very well. “I feel like our product is more catered to the Maine and New England environment than some of our competitors.”
Photos: Opposite, work underway on a low bed trailer in the Manac® factory in St. Georges.
Above, a robotic welder at work in the factory.
Below: A completed log trailer at the factory entrance in St. Georges.
Loggers seem to agree. The list of Maine’s Manac® customers includes some of the biggest names in Maine logging including TNT Trucking, WT Gardner, Khiel Logging, and Pascal Lessard – all PLC Members - to name only a few.
Manac® is an Enhanced Supporting Member of the PLC.
The majority of Manac® trailers are still sold in Canada, but sales in Maine and elsewhere in the U.S. are strong. The company works with a network of dealers throughout the U.S., with Hale Trailer, Brake & Wheel Inc., a Preferred Supporting Member of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC), being the largest network. Hale has a dealership in Portland, ME, where many loggers in southern Maine buy Manac® trailers.
In northern Maine and northern New Hampshire, direct sales from the factory are typical. These sales include delivery from the factory, and when necessary, support from the factory for any repair or warranty.
"We have an excellent warranty program and we
“Yes, we are being built in Canada, but we have a local presence,” Derek said. “The main factor in joining the PLC was we wanted to show our commitment to the local Maine economy and our Maine customers.”
Every Manac® facility has a flying moose statue to mark it as part of the company. The moose originally became a symbol of the quality of Manac® trailers in the 1980s when the saying was, “there’ll be a better trailer when the moose fly,” but is also linked to an Abenaki legend, and the story of the flying moose can be found on Manac’s website, Denis said.
One key to Manac’s quality and success is a skilled and veteran workforce. The workers in St. George are unionized and the company has a good relationship with the union. The company actively solicits ideas from its employees to improve its operations, rewarding the best Manac
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ideas with bonuses. Many workers in the factory have been there for decades, a testament to the quality of the jobs and their loyalty to their employer. That loyalty has been returned by the company over the years, perhaps most memorably in the late 1990s when Marcel Dutil was on the verge of selling Manac® to buyers in Chicago but walked away on the day of the signing.
“At the end of the process, they would not guarantee the jobs of the workers here, so Marcel said no way, no deal.” Denis said.
Still, like most manufacturers in 2022, one of Manac’s biggest challenges is finding enough skilled workers, and with the average number of years worked with the company on the day shift now at more than 25, it is a challenge that is not going away as older workers retire, Denis said.
Most of the trailers coming out of the factory each day are sold long before they are assembled. Lead time for vans averages about a year, and for flats about six months, so demand exceeds what the company can currently produce, Denis said.
That demand is not something Charles foresees
going away in a world where so much moves by truck.
“As you look at the new technology, the autonomous vehicles coming online, the electrification of trucking, all of these aspects will help trucking keep on gaining market share because it will make trucking more competitive. So for us, it shouldn't decrease demand,” Charles said.
More than a century after Edouard Lacroix first saw great business opportunities in the north Maine woods, his descendants remain closely tied to the state, and not only for business. Charles’ mother is a Giguere from SteAurélie whose father used to bring the family into Maine for recreational opportunities in and around Brassua Lake. One day he drove 10 miles further and discovered Moosehead Lake, Charles said.
“They've had a camp on Moosehead since the late 1950s, so we've always had a relationship with the north side of Maine,” Charles said.
The family chalet, located on the east side of Moosehead Lake near Rockwood, is still a place he and the family visit often. It is easy to find: A large flying moose statue stands next to the driveway.
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Photos: Above: The Manac® factory’s axle assembly line. The line produces axles for more than 130 trailers per week. Opposite, the Manac® flying moose in Rockwood, Maine.
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PLC Board of Directors 2022-23. Back, from left, Ron Ridley, First Vice President Chuck Ames, Marc Greaney. Middle from left, Bob Linkletter, Steve Hanington, Aaron Adams, Second Vice President Duane Jordan. Front, from left, Randy Kimball, Treasurer Andy Irish, President Will Cole, Past President Tony Madden, Secretary Kurt Babineau. Absent from photo, Brent Day, Jim Nicols, Wayne Tripp and Gary Voisine.
New Opportunity to Recruit Veterans ForYour Job Openings!
The PLC is working with the nonprofit organization Boots2Roots to connect your companies with a
retired from the military or planning to be who are seeking employment in Maine.
Boots2Roots is the only organization in Maine specifically focused on preparing
active duty military members up to a year before they begin their transition for immediate success in Maine, while providing a pipeline of new workforce talent to Maine employers.
The PLC has been granted access to post jobs from our members on the Boots2Roots portal. This will put your job openings in front of veterans accessing the site.As most of you are aware, many veterans have skills or experience applicable to the logging industry, and a proven work ethic. This is a great opportunity!
Send your job openings to PLC Office Coordinator
Vanessa Tillson at email@example.com and she will get them posted for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office at 207-688-8195.
27 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023
Trucking Industry News...
device to one that will be supported after the 3G sunset, and to complete the necessary actions as soon as possible.
The final 3G network sunset date is December 31, 2022. Are you prepared? Replace or upgrade your 3G-reliant ELDs today...
Mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks, which may impact motor carriers if their ELDs rely on a 3G network. Read more about the 3G sunset.
The final announced 3G sunset date is December 31, 2022, when Verizon will complete the shutdown of its 3G network.
Any ELD that requires 3G cellular connectivity to perform its functionality will no longer be in compliance with the technical specifications in the ELD rule after the 3G network it relies on is sunset.
When in an area that does not support 3G, a 3G device will register a malfunction. In accordance with 49 CFR 395.34, the carrier has 8 days to get the malfunction resolved, in this case by replacement, unless an extension is granted.
What actions do motor carriers need to take now?
Confirm whether your ELD relies on a 3G network.
If you are unsure if your ELD relies on a 3G network, contact your ELD provider. If your ELD does not rely on 3G, and meets all minimum requirements, no further action is needed.
Ask your provider for their upgrade or replacement plan
If your ELD relies on a 3G network, ask your ELD provider about their plan for upgrading or replacing your
FMCSA strongly encourages motor carriers to take the above actions as soon as possible to avoid compliance issues. See the announced dates listed below and plan accordingly to avoid service disruptions and compliance issues. Note that portions of carrier 3G networks will be unsupported in advance of the announced sunset dates.
3G Sunset Dates
The announced sunset dates are below.* These are dates for completing the shutdowns. Mobile carriers are planning to retire parts of their networks sooner.
AT&T 3G: February 22, 2022
Sprint 3G (T-Mobile): March 31, 2022
Sprint LTE (T-Mobile): June 30, 2022
T-Mobile 3G: July 1, 2022
Verizon 3G: December 31, 2022
Note: Many carriers, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, and several Lifeline mobile service providers, utilize the AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks.
*Sunset dates are subject to change. Contact your mobile carrier for up-to-date information.
Reminder to Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs): Ensuring a Return to Duty Process Unique to Each Individual Employee…
U.S. Department of Transportation bulletin
It has come to the attention of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that some Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) are providing Return-to-Duty (RTD) timelines to employees who have violated the DOT drug and/or alcohol regulations before conducting the required initial evaluation and SAP assessment of the
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employee. Doing so directly contravenes 49 CFR Part 40 and potentially compromises public safety. It also undermines the SAP’s role in evaluating each individual employee and directing that employee to get the specific help the employee needs.
As a reminder, your role as a SAP is important to the DOT return-to-duty process. You are not an advocate for the employer or the employee. Your function as a SAP is to protect the public interest in safety by evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education and/or treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare.
As a SAP, the decisions you make and the actions you take regarding an employee who has violated the DOT drug and/or alcohol regulations have the potential to impact transportation safety. The ultimate goals of the SAP process are to address the employee’s needs for rehabilitation for the sake of the employee, and to give the employee the tools the employee needs to return to the performance of safetysensitive duties.
Consistent with sound clinical and established SAP standards of care in clinical practice, and utilizing reliable alcohol and drug abuse assessment tools, you must conduct an assessment and evaluation, either in-person or virtually (per applicable guidance), of the employee. In our longstanding SAP Guidelines, we have told SAPs, “The evaluation should be comprised of a review of the employee’s psychosocial history, an in-depth review of the employee’s drug and alcohol use history (with information regarding onset, duration, frequency, and amount of use; substance(s) of use and choice; emotional and physical characteristics of use; and associated health, work, family, personal, and interpersonal problems); and an evaluation of the employee’s current mental status.”
We want to strongly remind SAPs of the following 49 CFR Part 40 regulatory requirements: Provide a comprehensive assessment and clinical
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Trucking Continued from page 29
evaluation unique to the employee. [See 40.293(a)] Recommend a course of education and/or treatment unique to the needs of the employee whom you have assessed and evaluated. You must make a recommendation for education and/or treatment that will, to the greatest extent possible, protect public safety in the event that the employee returns to the performance of safety-sensitive functions. [See 40.293(b) and 40.293(b)(2)]
In determining what your recommendation will be, SAPs must not take into consideration any of the following: Employee claims that the testing process was unjust or inaccurate. [See 40.293(f)(1)]
Employee attempts to mitigate the seriousness of the violation (e.g., hemp oil, “medical marijuana” use, “contact positives”, poppy seed ingestion, job stress). [See 40.293(f) (2)]
Personal opinions about the justification or rationale for the drug and alcohol testing. [See 40.293(f)(3)]
Again, SAPs should not provide employees with estimated RTD timelines because each employee’s situation is unique.
Maine DOT News Release for December 14, 2022
HAMPDEN - Construction on the Maine Department of Transportation's Hampden Bridge Bundle Project is now substantially finished.
This project involved rebuilding eight bridges and rehabilitating a ninth bridge along a four-mile stretch of I-95 in Hampden between Exits 174 and 180. Three of these bridge pairs cross the Souadabscook Stream, and one pair crosses Emerson Mill Road and the Central Maine & Quebec Railway. The one bridge rehabilitation involved with this project occurred at the Exit 180 off-ramp on Cold Brook Road over I-95. The project involved the construction of four temporary bridges to keep interstate traffic moving throughout this project.
The contractor on the Hampden Bridge Bundle Project was Cianbro Corporation of Pittsfield.
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The Hampden Bridge Bundle Project is finished…
Check out the equipment and job opportunities our members have listed on the PLC website at the LOGGING ZONE! If you have equipment for sale, are looking to buy, are looking for employees, or are looking for employment - check it out!
If I were to walk through your shop and say that there was a bomb about to go off, you would likely take quick action to mitigate the situation. Today I am going talk about bench and handheld grinders. They might not rise to the level of a bomb, but they present a danger that we should not be scared of but hold in high respect. In doing some research on them, I found that we should all follow basic inspections and guidelines. Make sure you do the following with the bench or handheld grinders.
Start by ensuring all the guards are in place, and the electrical cords are in good condition. Check the rpm rating on the grinder & the wheel to make sure that the wheel is within the grinder’s rating. The wheel's information can be found on the sticker on the side of the wheel; this is also known as the blotter. Never start the grinder while standing in the spin plane. This protects you from getting injured if the disk comes apart on startup. Do a ring test every time you change a grinding wheel. A ring test is when you hold the grinding wheel with a screwdriver through the hole and tap another screwdriver's handle in at least four places to hear a “ring.” If it is a dull thud, the wheel is cracked, and you need to throw it away (or return it to the place where you bought it and get another one). It is recommended that you do this right in the store before you buy one.
With the bench grinder, make sure all the adjustments are made regularly. First, ensure there is no excessive vibration; this will wear out the wheel and your grinder prematurely. To cure the vibration, look at how it is seated on the shaft, and shim if necessary. Then check that the wheel's weight is balanced, and if you find that it is not balanced, you can add weight like balancing a car wheel. Set the spark guide (also known as the tongue guide), which should be no greater than 1/4”. The work rest should be as close as it can be without touching the wheel and no greater than 1/8”. You can buy a tool with both max settings to check these gaps. If the wheel is not round, you can dress it with a diamond-cutting tool. This tool can also be used to square the
face of the wheel as it wears. Keep the clear face protection clean and in between the wheel and your face. You can use a dresser tool to clean up a wheel filled with grinding debris, either by extensive use or by grinding material like aluminum with the wrong type of grinding wheel. Remember not to use excessive force when grinding because this will damage the wheel. Never grind on the side of the wheel. This will weaken the wheel and will cause the wheel to fail prematurely.
When using a hand grinder, make sure the wheel is not damaged in any way. Use the grinder in the way that it was designed to be used. The most common issue is trying to grind with a cut-off wheel. This might seem basic, but a cut-off wheel is designed to cut on the front edge, not grind on the side face. This will weaken the cutoff wheel and prematurely fail while in use, endangering you. When grinding, pay attention to where the sparks are going and how you handle the grinder to ensure that your body is not in the way if there is a kick or the wheel breaks.
Onto clothing and PPE. Never wear loose clothing, jewelry, or untied hair, including gloves. You should always wear leather gloves but ensure they fit well and have nothing hanging off that could get caught in the wheel. Wear a shirt that is fire resistant, remember polyester and cotton burns, and offers you little protection from fire. In high school, I wore a cotton chamois shirt while helping a friend do a “quick” cut with a cut-off wheel. My shirt caught fire, but we got it out without me being burned, and we both learned a valuable lesson. Use good-fitting safety glasses that protect from the front and from the sides that are rated to withstand an impact. Use a face shield or a welding helmet to keep sparks and debris from hitting your face. Last, don’t forget hearing protection. You can wear plugs or muffs. It does not matter as long as you are protecting your ears.
Log onto the maineloggers.com website in the members-only section to get a video you can share with your employees highlighting bench & handheld grinder safety.
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Ted Clark, CLCS, Loss Control Consultant, Acadia Insurance
Quarterly Safety Meeting: Hypothermia: Recognition and Prevention
Hypothermia is a medical condition that is often associated with being outside in cold and/or wet weather conditions. It occurs when the body loses heat faster than it is able to generate heat and is unable to maintain a safe core temperature. Because of the dropping temperature, the heart, organs and respiratory system cannot function normally and, if not treated quickly, can lead to death.
There is a range of symptoms associated with hypothermia and because the symptoms can come on slowly, the patient experiencing the emergency may not always be aware of the problem.
Typically, the first symptom is shivering, often uncontrollably, because your body is trying to raise its core temperature.
Other symptoms of hypothermia include:
-Bright red/cold skin
-Shallow, slow breathing -Slurred speech or mumbling
-Weak pulse -Lack of coordination -Low energy or fatigue -Memory loss/confusion -Loss of consciousness
When you notice these symptoms on a person, it is critical to see that they receive medical treatment immediately because treatment may reverse the progression. Don’t wait to see if the person’s condition may improve on its own.
First aid for someone experiencing hypothermia is relatively straight forward and should be covered during your first aid certification classes. Below is a refresher on the steps that you can take if you, or someone you are with, is experiencing the symptoms of hypothermia:
1. Call 9-1-1 after checking the person’s condition and level of responsiveness.
2. Get the person to a warm, dry environment such as a vehicle or building. If you are unable to get the person inside, do your best to shield them from the wind and the cold. Space blankets are a great tool that fit inside a first aid kit and can help you provide the patient with some warmth.
3. Remove wet clothing, especially cotton! Your body loses heat at an alarming rate when clothing is wet.
4. Cover the person with blankets or warm clothing. 5. Be gentle and don’t massage the cold areas. Sudden movements can cause a hypothermic person to go into cardiac arrest.
6. Provide warm, not hot, beverages. Do not provide the person with caffeinated or alcoholic drinks as they can cause the condition to worsen.
7. Do not provide direct heat but, if help is a long way away, you can use active rewarming such as a warm compress or a warm thermos. Warmth should ONLY be applied to the chest or neck area. DO NOT place heat on the arms or legs as this could be fatal. Also, do not soak the person with a warm liquid. It’s important to remember that the person’s body has lost its
ability to warm itself so, unless treatment of the symptoms begin immediately, their condition will likely continue to worsen.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
Preventing hypothermia is relatively simple. The Mayo Clinic uses the acronym, “COLD” – Cover, Overexertion, Layers, Dry.
COVER- With the rest of your body covered in clothing, you can lose an enormous amount of heat through your head and your hands. Therefore, it is critical to keep your head and face covered with an appropriate hat and keep your hands covered with dry, insulated gloves, or mittens if it is extremely cold.
OVEREXERTION – Sweating when it’s cold out can be deadly. We have all heard stories of someone getting hypothermic while trying to shovel out a snowmobile or a vehicle that is stuck in a snow bank. When you overexert and begin to sweat, it will wet your clothing and cause your body to rapidly lose heat.
LAYERS – On days where it may be wet and cold, or there’s a possibility of working outside, it is important to properly layer your clothing. When layered properly, you can add or remove clothing as the weather or activity level demands. It is also important to choose the proper type of fabric. The saying, “Cotton Kills,” is one thing that is constantly repeated during many outdoor training schools including Maine Guide Schools. If wet, cotton will lose all of its insulating value and actually holds moisture near the skin. Moisture wicking fabrics such as a synthetic or wool are going to be a much more effective base layer.
DRY – Stay as dry as possible. When you are wet, you will lose an enormous amount of body heat. Pay special attention to keeping your extremities such as your hands and feet dry. Keep a change of clothes close-by at all times and if you get wet, change as soon as possible.
It is also important to prepare for the unexpected with some of these simple tips:
-Watch the weather
-Store a blanket in your vehicle
-Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
-Make sure you have communication if you are alone
-Become familiar with first aid procedures and risk factors that increase the likelihood of getting hypothermic
Hypothermia is a dangerous medical condition that we are all exposed to because we live in a cold climate. Because we work and play outside in the cold weather, understanding the symptoms and how to treat them can make a huge difference in the life of a friend, a family member or a coworker. Luckily, hypothermia can be prevented through the simple steps outlined above.
Acadia is pleased to share this material for the benefit of its customers. Please note, however, that nothing herein should be construed as either legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services. This material is for informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness. Recipients of this material must utilize their own individual professional judgment in implementing sound risk management practices and procedures.
*Meeting sign-in sheet on the back! Cut along dotted line to left to detach this section.
*This sign-in sheet is intended to be used with the quarterly Safety Training Topic on page 33. Refer to the cutline on page 33 when removing it from the magazine.
Eye Injuries and Logging
By Brie Weisman, OTR/L with Maine LogAbility
In logging, an eye injury can occur faster than the blink of an eye. In Maine, eye injuries rank in the top three accident-related injuries. Untreated eye injuries can go from bad to worse in very little time, potentially resulting in diminished vision or blindness.
A Mechanized logger was out walking the job site on a steep slope in the woods and turned, gouging his eye on a hemlock branch. Despite wearing safety glasses the branch managed to get behind the eye shield. He immediately experienced eye pain, blurry vision, and felt fluid running down his face. Finding that it wasn’t blood, he nevertheless drove himself directly to his optometrist. On his ride over, he began to second-guess the need to go to his eye doctor. The pain was subsiding, the blurring would surely clear up. His optometrist cleaned out debris still lodged in his eye. He had an avulsion (tear) on his eye. For treatment, he was given an antibiotic, a contact to wear for 24 hours (as a sort of band-aid to keep the tear sealed and encourage healing), and eye drops for pain relief. His optometrist commended him for coming in right away, noting that if he had waited until the end of the day, he would have been in a tremendous amount of pain and would have likely ended up in the emergency room after normal physician’s hours. Instead, because of speedy treatment, the logger actually returned to work that same day. The next day he saw his ophthalmologist to have the contact removed. His injury was 100% healed, the eye being one of the human body’s second fastest healing organ (after the tongue).
Although his safety glasses failed to stop the branch from injuring his eye, they did offer some protection, and his optometrist is convinced that the injury would have been worse without them. Not wishing to repeat his ordeal, this logger has ordered a pair of prescription, wrap-around glasses that offer superior protection from side strikes.
Logging is fraught with eye hazards. The case above was a common enough occurrence, a logger poking himself on a static object, most commonly a branch. A second class of hazards is moving objects–falling tree limbs, snapped bungees, flying wood chips. A third is particulate matter–flying debris from grinders, or from using a compressor to blow equipment clean. Lastly, chemicals –grease, diesel, DEF, and hydraulic fluids are all caustic to the eye.
All eye injuries need to be treated seriously, even seemingly minor ones, because the outcome of ill-defined treatment is possible permanent loss of vision. Don’t attempt to treat a serious eye injury yourself. The best medical professional to see for an eye injury is either an optometrist or for more serious injuries an ophthalmologist, and the best time to see one is immediately.
Eye injury symptoms include: ongoing eye pain, trouble seeing, cut/torn eyelid, one eye not moving as well as the other, a bulging eye, unusual pupil size and shape, blood in the white of of the eye. An object on the eye that tears and blinking can’t remove should also be treated as an injury.
Below is a list of the standard eye injuries and what to do about them.
Scratched/cut eye: Symptoms include pain, feeling like something is stuck in the eye and tearing.
Severe scratches would include blurry vision, sensitivity to light, headache.
Treatment: rinse eye with clean water using eyecup or small glass. Do blink, try pulling the upper lid over the lower lid, as lashes can help sweep debris away. After treating the eye,don’t rub or touch the eye. Don’t use contacts if you are a contact wearer and don’t use eye drops designed to relieve redness. For a severe scratch/ cut, an Optmologist can provide antibiotic eye drop ointment and/or lubricating drops for comfort. DO NOT just use any eye drops,. Over the counter drops can make the injury worse.
Sand, dirt, dust in eye: DO NOT rub eyes, instead blink several times. Eyewash, saline solution, or even tap water can be used to help flush it out. If none of these are available, lift the upper eyelid over the lashes of the lower lid to brush out particles. See an Opthamologist as soon as possible if you suspect any debris at all remains in the eye, or even if it feels like it is still in the eye. Metal, glass, and other sharp materials can be very serious, and merit an immediate trip to an ophthalmologist.
In the case of chemical burns or splash, immediately flush the eye with plenty of water, then seek medical attention at once. Gather information about the chemical that got into the eye and, if possible, call ahead with the information to the medical facility.
As with most accidental injuries, good practices and prevention dramatically reduces the number of eye injuries. Wearing appropriate protective gear at all times at work will vastly reduce the likelihood of eye injury in the first place. An impact resistant face shield or high quality, wrap around safety glasses should be considered essential for most logging jobs. A retainer that attaches to your safety glasses that will keep them in place while wearing them, or can easily be loosened so your glasses hang around your neck, convenient for use at any moment, should be considered an essential part of your eyewear. Eye protection is available in plain lenses, sunglass lenses, and prescription lenses. Make sure you get safety glasses that fit, feel good on your face, and that you like- otherwise you won’t wear them.
Wearing eye protection is an economical, easy step that is astonishingly effective at protecting sight. In the event of an eye injury, rapid treatment, both on-site, and by a medical professional, is the best way to minimize suffering, and increase the likelihood of a full and speedy recovery.
For More Information, visit Maine LogAbility, part of the Maine AgrAbility program: https://extension.umaine.edu/agrability/
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023
Next PLC Safety Committee Meeting
Jan. 24 Via Zoom
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Our goal is simple. Our goal is to prevent wildfires from destroying homes and Maine’s forest resources. Period. And additionally, our goal is to respond rapidly, with overwhelming force, to extinguish any wildfire that threatens homes, forest resources or other high value property in the Maine woods. Since 1891, we have been increasingly successful in carrying out our mission and achieving these goals. But it is very important to realize that achieving these goals is not merely the role of one small agency in Maine state government. With Maine’s land area comprising over 22 million acres and nearly 18 million acres of that land being forested, this is no small task. in looking at historical data on occurrence in all areas of the state, one thing we are seeing is the numbers are trending upwards of late. The undeniable influence from climate change, with its extreme weather trends, will
continue to have an impact on wildfire control in Maine for the foreseeable future. And with costs to suppress fires increasing, it is all the more important to suppress wildfires quickly. However, we can also take pride in our shared success in keeping acres burned to 1 acre or less per wildfire on average. This achievement can be attributed to many things, including increased technology, the use of aircraft, and most importantly, partnerships.
The Maine Forest Service is a bureau within the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and its forest rangers are appointed under state law to be the state's wildfire control experts, enforcers of natural resource and public safety law and to respond to disasters and emergencies that occur in all areas of the state. But with only 48 field forest rangers allocated to this mission, we would be foolhardy to believe for one minute that we can
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achieve all the various goals and mandates set before us without help from others. The help we receive is from a very diverse set of cooperators. Within state government, we rely on help from other state agencies when emergencies occur. We look to the Forest Health and Monitoring Division to ensure that insect and disease proliferation does not adversely contribute to wildfire spread. We work closely with district foresters from the Forest Policy and Management Division to see that forests are managed in a way that is sustainable and that promotes wildfire resiliency. While the term wildfire resiliency is new on the scene to many in the wildfire control and forest management world, its concepts are not. Wildfire resiliency requires collaboration from not just those who suppress fires but from land managers and from logging professionals who work the land in a way that is not only profitable but sustainable and promotes wildfire prevention.
Our state is fortunate to have such professionals harvesting timber in all areas of Maine. We are fortunate that landowners provide the land base in order to grow trees for paper, pulp, and lumber to make the lives of Mainers and those beyond our borders better. Our state's loggers can play a key role in helping us achieve our mission mandate by doing several things - many of these things the readers of this short article do every day. Well maintained forest roads which provide quick access to any emergency are extremely important. Following our state’s laws on spark arrestors for heavy equipment and for
chainsaws is extremely important as these have been the sources of many wildfire starts over the decades. Training logging professionals in the basics of wildfire control and what to do if a wildfire starts on their job site can make the difference between a successful initial attack or one that is problematic. Keeping logging equipment clean, serviceable and free of debris which might lead to a fire in, or on, that machine is critically important. Keeping fire extinguishers up to date and serviced or having a water supply on the site are both excellent ways to ensure that if a fire starts the logging professionals on site might be able to knock it down and keep it from spreading. The scattering of slash resulting from logging operations, as opposed to large piles of slash on the log landing site, can lessen the opportunity for wildfire arsonists to make a quick set and then escape. Frequent communication between loggers, foresters, landowners and our state's forest rangers is also a key component to any successful wildfire control operation. Knowing who to call, when to call, and how to call when an emergency happens is vital. Our goal as the Maine Forest Service is to provide training to loggers, foresters, land managers, landowners and our call-when-needed firefighters so that we can collaboratively respond in such a way that ensures wildfires in Maine are no longer catastrophic. We will never be able to eliminate the wildfire threat in Maine. But we can mitigate it by working together, by strategically planning, by working toward the goal of wildfire resiliency, and by ensuring that our partnerships are solid and reliable.
39 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023
Photos, opposite: Wildfire in West Middlesex Twp. Above: Wildfire in Hancock County.
ByTomGilbert WaterResourcesSpecialist MaineForestService
Wetlands are areas where soils are saturated or flooded for a significant part of the year. Soils often have a significant amount of water moving on or near the surface, which is displaced and combined with sediment when large equipment moves over it, creating a potential risk to water quality. Avoiding or minimizing disturbance of wetlands is key to a successful harvest. There are multiple wetland types to look out for:
Forested wetlands typically are dominated by trees taller than 20 feet, have relatively little water at the surface and have indistinct borders.
Non-forested or open wetlands may have standing water and are dominated by shrubs and/ or grasses, though they may have some scattered trees, mostly less than 20 feet tall. Non-forested wetlands are not managed for timber and require special permitting before they are impacted.
Vernal pools are open water bodies that typically are forested, and usually dry up during summer months. Due to their specialized habitat and BMP concerns, it is recommended that timber harvesting activities avoid them to the greatest practical extent. Habitat management guidelines for vernal pools are available from the Maine Forest Service.
BMPs in wetlands help minimize two primary impacts: sedimentation of surface water and the alteration of water flow through wetland soils. Below are several BMPs to increase the strength, or bearing capacity for your crossing, and to maintain water movement through the wetland soil:
Cross wetlands on frozen ground if possible. Minimize the length and width of roads or trails within wetlands.
Minimize the number and frequency of wetland crossings.
Use brush, wooden mats, log corduroy, or similar structures to cross wetlands.
Temporary crossings using wooden mats or corduroy is preferred, as they can provide sufficient bearing capacity to prevent excessive rutting, saving time, fuel, and wear on equipment. This also prevents water from channelizing within ruts, where sediment may be carried to other areas of the harvest site. These structures should be orientated to allow water to pass through to either side of the trail, preventing water from being impounded.
For more information reference the Maine Forest Service BMP manual, available in the Water Resources section of the Maine Forest Service website at www.maineforestservice.gov.
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41 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Reminder: PLC Legislative Updates will begin January 2023 Watch your email for them!
PLC Members invited toAMC Fly
Alex and Molly London of PLC Member WW London Woodlot Management Co. in Milo traveled to Washington D.C this fall at the invitation of the Appalachian Mountain Club to take part in their fly-in for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Alex and Molly London of PLC Member WW London Woodlot Management Co. in Milo were invited by the Appalachian Mountain Club to join in their fly-in this fall for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in Washington DC.
The Londons joined with other conservation partners across the country to accomplish two tasks, 1) to celebrate the $900 million in funding that was made permanent through the Great American Outdoors Act in 2020, and 2) to advocate for more funding in the Forest Legacy Program and the continued use of that funding for keeping working forests working.
LWCF funding has been used in many places across the state and country. Specific to the Londons, the LWCF funding was used by AMC to help purchase the Katahdin Iron Works tract that has employed the London's logging crew for 5 years, as well as to purchase the Pleasant River Headwaters Forest in 2022 that has funded 100 bridge projects completed by the Londons and a future
of work for their logging crews. These lands could have been locked up in preservation or focused completely on recreation, but instead have kept a multi-use philosophy in allowing many different partners to use a tract of land while still operating logging crews in the woods.
While in DC, the Londons met directly with Senators Angus King and Susan Collins, and Eric Kanter of Rep. Jared Golden's office, as well as Rep. Chellie Pingree's staff members. They spoke in each meeting about the importance of conservation funding being used to keep working forests working, and also mentioned the Master Logger Certification program as a way to be sure that harvesting is done in a sustainable manner. (W.W. London Woodlot Management Co. is Master Logger Certified®). They also brought light to the hard times that loggers are facing in the current economy and advocated for any assistance to be allocated in a way that it can get to loggers directly, in a way similar to the PATHH program.
42 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995
Logger Certification and its Impact on Professionalism
By Ted Wright, Executive Director of the
The logging industry of today demands increasing levels of professionalism and forest stewardship to meet the rising expectations of landowners and consumers. While training programs play a role, only a true third-party certification program can verify performance where it matters – in the woods.
Loggers recognized this more than two decades ago when they developed the *Master Logger Certification Program® (Master Logger) in 2000 to provide verification of timber harvesting company’s practices on the ground. More than twenty years later, Master Logger remains the only “in the woods” thirdparty certification program for logging companies.
While it was developed by the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) logging association, Master Logger has since expanded to seven northeast states from Maine to New York. In 2003, The Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands (TCNEF) was created to administer the program with the broader goal of “enhancing the health of working forest ecosystems through exceptional accountability” throughout the Northern Forest region, which includes all the states of New England and New York.
Today there are more than 120 Master Logger certified companies in the region.
What does this really mean when it comes to raising professional standards in logging? A look at the requirements for certification and how the program verifies they are being met quickly shows what sets Master Loggers apart.
The program’s primary goal is to keep a thriving and sustainable forest products industry in place throughout New England. To do this, Master Logger established nine goals with forest ecosystem sustainability, worker safety and forest economy sustainability in mind.
These nine goals guide Master Loggers in their work: Document Harvest Planning, Protect Water Quality, Maintain Soil Productivity, Sustain Forest Ecosystems, Manage Forest Aesthetics, Ensure Workplace Safety, Demonstrate Continuous Improvement, Ensure Business Viability, and Uphold Certificate Integrity. There are detailed harvest responsibilities with explicit performance standards under each goal.
Field verifiers visit actual harvest sites to determine whether candidates for Master Logger Certification are meeting or exceeding the standards required for certification. Their findings are submitted to an independent, regional board that makes the final decision on whether a company will be certified.
Once certified, Master Loggers are subject to regular recertification audits to ensure performance continues to meet the standard. The Master Logger program is audited yearly by the global certifying body Preferred by Nature, which randomly
Trust to Conserve
selects companies for field audits and reviews group documents. These audits identify strengths and areas for improvement and are used to continuously improve the program.
Today, the Master Logger program continues to expand its numbers, with certified companies growing in states including New York and Vermont thanks to recognition of the program’s value. Outreach efforts in the region have included a popular series of regional water protection workshops offered by Master Logger in 2021 and 2022 where several hundred employees of Master Logger companies have been able to participate to further their education and awareness.
The benefits of certification continue to grow as well. Master Loggers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont can now achieve reduced workers’ compensation insurance costs, and efforts are underway to increase the number of states where this benefit exists.
This year, Master Logger was also recognized by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Mills and landowners can recognize any Master Logger certified company as a "Certified Logging Company," which meets the SFI fiber sourcing and forest management standard requirements.
TCNEF also administers a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified group Chain of Custody that provides an information trail, established and audited according to rules set by FSC, for Master Loggers and wood products companies to ensure that wood comes from certified forests. Master Loggers can carry FSC Chain of Custody for their wood sales and in 2023, FSC recognition of Master Logger will expand even further when Master Loggers can provide FSC certification to as a benefit to small landowners in the region. More information regarding this change will be available soon.
A 2018 research report, “Value Assessment of Certified Logger Programs” prepared for the Wood Supply Research Institute found nearly 60 percent of small landowners had a preference for using certified Master Loggers in a harvest, and the visibility of the program has only grown since then.
As demand for wood harvested professionally, sustainably, and safely grows, the merits of Master Logger Certified companies in meeting that demand are clear. There has never been a better time to become a Master Logger, or to seek one for a harvest.
For more information contact Ted Wright at (207) 5328721 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The Master Logger Certification Program® name and logo were trademarked in 2020 and belong exclusively to the Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands.
43 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023
As We See It November 2022
By Scott Dane
It is a matter of perspective, we can either look at the glass as half full or half empty. Either way it is the same glass, it just depends upon how we choose to look at it. If you are thirsty, you can be grateful for half a glass of water, or you can be resentful that it wasn’t a full glass of water. That is how life, particularly in the woods, can be. Loggers and truckers tend to be “glass half full” optimists.
There are few “easy” days in the woods or hauling timber. The challenges are daily, sometimes hourly. But if you have been in the timber industry, it is a way of life. Honestly, that may be what drives loggers and truckers to do what they do. It is a life most others cannot or will not live. As such you have overcome insurmountable challenges and threats; you have replenished your glass and never let it be empty.
As we prepare for the Thanksgiving celebration, remember that it dates back to colonial times and the harvest feast. When settlers and Native Americans came together and shared a meal. The New England colonists regularly celebrated “days of prayer thanking God for blessings”. Later, a national Thanksgiving Day was officially designated by President Lincoln to promote unity during the Civil War.
If there has been a time since the Civil War that the United States needed unity, it is today. Despite all of the division, vitriol and conflict today’s United States can take a lesson from 400 years ago, when two vastly different cultures, who were at times warring factions, sat together, ate together and gave thanks TOGETHER. This historic demonstration of unity is an example of what America needs today, and a reminder that we still have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.
The timber industry is comprised of competing factions, including loggers vying for the same timber tract, mill volume, laborers, and trucking capacity. Yet most come together to work towards a common mutual benefit of a sustainable timber industry through their membership in state and national organizations. They recognize that through unity a greater good can be achieved. Perhaps
there should be more loggers and truckers running the country. Men and women who face the daily challenges of harvesting timber and transporting it, who can solve problems, who are focused on the common good, who build instead of destroy, who focus on the good not the bad, who are thankful for the blessings they have received. Whether we choose to look at all of the blessings we enjoy today, or if we choose to look at the challenges, differences, threats and disagreements that divide us, is up to each of us.
Gratitude and Attitude are not Challenges; they are Choices.
Thanksgiving is about unity, unity of country, but more importantly, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to the source of our blessings – God.
Ephesians 6:12 – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Charles Spurgeon said, “The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our heart upon the black horse of affliction.”
During the Thanksgiving holiday, be sure to have the right perspective, count your blessings – your health, your family, your business and give thanks to the One from whom all blessings flow. Even in the challenges be thankful.
Be Thankful for Every New Challenge.It will Build Strength, Wisdom, and Character.
With that perspective, in times of blessings and in times of challenges, we can be thankful and give thanks.
The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.”
–William Penn (American Colonialist)
44 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995
By Scott Dane
(The following article was originally written for and published in the Association of Consulting Foresters “Consultant” magazine by Scott Dane, Executive Director, American Loggers Council)
Workforce Development Challenge, Pieces Coming Together
The pieces for workforce development have been identified, but before they can be put together, the elephant in the room must be acknowledged. Regardless of training programs, and there are numerous good ones, the industry needs to be competitive to attract workers.
The existing logging and trucking workforce is aging out at a rate that exceeds those entering the workforce pipeline. This trend will begin to compromise production in the next 5-10 years, if not sooner. This issue is further compounded by the fact that the average logging company owner is in their upper 50’s. Unless they have a succession plan, such as passing on the company to the next generation, (and many do not,) then these companies will exercise their “retirement plan” and sell their iron (equipment) and discontinue operations.
American Loggers Council member, Jim Houdequin, CEO of Lyme Timber Company testified recently in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources where he stated:
Employment in logging has declined by 41% from 86,000 in 1990 to under 50,000 today, a decline of 2% per year. However, logging output has remained nearly flat, so reductions in employment have been almost completely offset by increases in productivity.
Jim Houdequin also described the challenges to workforce recruitment in the logging sector, including low profit margins and wages, physically demanding work, safety challenges and limited technical training in his testimony.
Recently, another of the countless studies by academia stated the obvious without any solutions, by acknowledging the workforce development challenges due to the lack of competitive wages, benefits and aging workforce. Then they pivoted to “What makes a Quality Logging Operation (QLO)?” This "QLO" is a new term. We’ve all heard of Qualified Logging Professional, Certified Logger, Master Logger, but now academia has come up with another label – Quality Logging Operation. It implies that,
without this new branding, logging operations are not quality. The answers to the issues challenging the workforce development pipeline shortage and what makes a “Quality Logging Operation” are one and the same – a profitable logging operation.
So again, let's get back to the elephant in the room. The timber industry is going to remain challenged in its efforts to retain and recruit the workforce necessary for sustainability if it is not competitive. Competitive in wages, benefits, working conditions, and stability. Starbucks, fast food chains and big box stores in many instances offer comparable wages and better benefits than entry level logging jobs. What determines the wage scale and benefits within the timber industry? The amount that logging companies get paid for the wood they deliver. Most logging companies operate on a 3% profit margin, making it prohibitive, if not impossible, to increase wages or offer competitive benefits, so they offer what they can afford, and hope for the best. "I believe the markets for logging services –principally landowners and mills – are beginning to address profit margins and logger compensation, but many of the other challenges cannot be addressed by the private sector alone," said Jim Houdequin, CEO Lyme Timber Company, in his testimony to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. With that premise in mind, the public and private sectors are waking up to the fact that the workforce challenges represent a current and pending threat to the timber and forest products industries.
Currently, the typical training program in much of the industry consists of a couple of days of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) and other topics; then a few hours of instruction on a piece of equipment followed by on-the-job training. With the complexity, technology, and cost of today’s logging equipment that practice is no longer a viable nor a productive process. Training programs such as the Heavy Equipment and Logging Operations (HELO) training program by the Shasta Community College in California; the Maine Mechanized Logging Operations Program administered by the Northern Maine Community College; and Mississippi’s Logging Equipment Operator Academy, through Hinds Community College; as well as others across the country; are beginning to pump trained and productive workers into the employment pipeline. Productivity is the key to getting MORE (production) out of LESS (workers).
Promotion of the timber industry's value, opportunities
45 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023
As We See It December 2022
ALC Continued Page 46
and the training process is critical to attracting new workers. The American Loggers Council has recently received a $100,000 grant as part of a $250,000 Public Image and Workforce Development grant to improve the public understanding of the timber industry while recruiting new mechanized logging equipment operators. The American Loggers Council will be working with the state associations, to promote their programs; other industry stakeholders, to support this initiative; and public/private partnerships, to educate the public. Additionally, the American Loggers Council has been working with the federal government, to establish training; and investment programs, to support the future of the timber industry. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Chaired by Senator Manchin, and Ranking Member Barrasso, have included three provisions in the Bill introduced last month that supports state training programs, on-the-job training, and provides for low interest or loan guarantees for the purchase of mechanized logging equipment. (See the official language below.)
TITLE III WORKFORCE
2 SEC. 301. LOGGING WORKFORCE. 3 (a) TRAINING.
4 (1) INTERSTATE TRAINING PROGRAMS. The 5 Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Chief of 6 the Forest Service, shall work with States to develop 7 a universal, tiered program to train persons to enter 8 the logging workforce.
9 (2) ON-THE-JOB TRAINING. The Secretary 10 concerned shall examine potential ways to facilitate 11 apprenticeship training to increase knowledge and 12 skills in an emerging logging workforce.
13 (b) MODERNIZING MACHINERY. Using funds made 14 available under section 40804(b)(3) of the Infrastructure
15 Investment and Jobs Act (16 U.S.C. 6592a(b)(3)), the 16 Secretary of Agriculture shall provide low-interest loans 17 or loan guarantees to persons, subject to such conditions 18 as the Secretary of Agriculture determines to be nec19 essary, for the acquisition of mechanized machinery for 20 decreasing injuries in the logging workforce.
The first step in solving a problem is acknowledging there is a problem. Based on the facts of the aging workforce; the overall reduction in employment within the logging sector; and the lack of new entry level workers coming into the timber industry; it is clear that workforce shortages will negatively impact timber harvest capacity if they are not addressed. The second step is developing a solution. The workforce development programs, at the state levels; the national government support, through legislation; and additionally, the public awareness/promotion; will collectively increase the opportunities to recruit and train new mechanized logging equipment operators. The third step, in addressing the workforce development threat and challenges, is the competitiveness of the timber industry with reference to comparable industries. This final step in solving the workforce development issue is solely up to the entities that set the rate paid for delivered timber. These entities, the buyers, can invest in the workforce for today and tomorrow. They can ensure the sustainability of the supply chain. They can support the extension of the same level of compensation and benefits enjoyed by their mill workers and other vendors, by working with their suppliers to understand their costs. The pieces to solving the workforce development puzzle are here. The remaining question is whether the players are going to fit the pieces together to safeguard an economically productive wood products industry, or if things will continue to be done according to the status quo, which, in the end, is not sustainable for anyone.
46 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995
ALC Continued from page 45
Sign up for health insurance at CoverME.gov by the January 15 deadline for coverage to start February 1st
through Maine Care can apply for Maine Care any time during the year. Call 1-800-965-7476 before January 15th for help understanding your options and enrolling in coverage.
Free assistance is available to help Mainers understand options and enroll in coverage
Visit CoverME.gov or call Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Maine’s Consumer Assistance Program at 1-800-965-7476 for free, confidential help sorting through options and enrolling in coverage. Most Mainers who signed up for coverage through CoverME.gov last year received help paying for their coverage and that help is available again this coming year.
Don’t wait! Some options are time limited. Enroll in a Marketplace plan before the January 15 deadline for coverage to start February 1st Mainers who are eligible for free or low-cost coverage
Consumers for Affordable Health Care (CAHC) is a nonprofit organization designated as Maine’s Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program by Maine’s Attorney General. CAHC does not sell insurance. Our trained assisters can provide free, confidential help over the phone. Inperson appointments are also provided if needed but space is limited. Don’t wait if you need insurance. You can visit CoverME.gov to explore plans or call 1-800-965-7476 before January 15, 2023 if you want help enrolling in coverage to start February 1st.
47 Winter 2023
Congressional Delegation Updates
Encouraging Investments to Grow Maine’s Forest Products Industry
The forest products industry is a vital part of our state’s economy and identity, particularly in rural communities. Two recent announcements of significant investments totaling more than $800 million at Sappi’s Somerset Mill in Skowhegan and at Louisiana-Pacific Houlton’s plant in New Limerick will strengthen local economies and support Maine’s dedicated and skilled loggers, haulers, and factory workers.
In Skowhegan, Sappi will invest $418 million to convert Paper Machine No. 2 to diversify its specialty product line and double its production capacity. The project is expected to be completed in early 2025. Currently, the Somerset Mill supports approximately 800 jobs in Skowhegan and 1,300 jobs in Maine. Construction of the expansion is expected to support 1,000 contractor jobs across Maine.
Investing in the Future of Maine's Forest Economy
I'm a perpetual optimist. I think that it's almost always easier to solve a problem if you can look at the opportunities you have, rather than just focusing on the downsides. It's no secret that Maine's forest products industry has faced some real challenges over the last few years, but with some significant investments that have been announced this fall, I think we can be optimistic about the future of Maine's forest economy and rural communities.
At the Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Sappi North America just announced a $418 million investment this month to convert Paper Machine No. 2 to a new specialty board line and double production capacity. Construction of the expansion is expected to create 1,000 contractor jobs and will help Sappi continue to support their workers and the Skowhegan community.
A bit further north, LP Houlton announced they're making a $400 million investment to increase the facility’s capacity by 340 million square feet of new siding a year. It's a huge expansion that is expected to create approximately new 100 jobs and
In New Limerick, Louisiana-Pacific Houlton announced a $400 million capital investment to its plant by adding a second SmartSide line, doubling the production capacity and adding more than 100 jobs to the community. This announcement comes just two months after LP unveiled a $150 million renovation to the plant to begin production of the SmartSide line of products.
Coming from a six-generation forest-products family, I am a strong supporter of this crucial industry. In 2016, I called on the U.S. Department of Commerce to establish the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT) to create strategies for job growth and economic development in Maine’s rural communities. The creation of the EDAT and subsequent federal funding established the FOR/Maine Initiative, an industry-led effort to grow Maine’s forest economy. As the industry embraces new opportunities, Sappi and LP are leading the way in making the necessary investments to evolve with the market and secure long-term success. These investments by Sappi and LP recognize that from the depths of our woods to the factory floor, the men and women of Maine’s forest products industry get the job done.
enough siding for 100,000 homes a year. This is in addition to the $150 million new facility I visited at LP Houlton earlier this summer.
A key similarity between the investments at LP and Sappi: they're both for new lines of forest products that weren't produced or sold even just a few years ago. These new products and opportunities like crosslaminated timber will mean new markets, new jobs, and stronger communities across rural Maine.
Another great example of our industry’s innovative spirit is from the University of Maine.
Last month, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, the University’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center unveiled the first 3Dprinted home made entirely from biobased Maine wood products. This incredible achievement is a first step towards mass producing affordable housing which will create new jobs and uses for Maine’s forest products. Now that’s a win-win.
This doesn't mean that the road ahead for our forest economy is an easy one; but with these investments, the success of initiatives like the Forest Opportunity Roadmap, and the unbeatable work ethic of people like you across the industry, I'm confident that the future remains bright. Together, we’re going to continue creating new opportunities and solidifying the foundation of our heritage industries for generations to come.
48 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine LoggersServingLoggersSince1995
Sen. Susan Collins
Sen. Angus King
The 117th Democratic Congress was arguably the most successful and transformative session for the American people in decades. As we put another year and another legislative session behind us and look ahead to 2023, it’s important to take stock of the historic progress we made to protect the environment, support Mainers and our forestry industry, and foster innovative, climate-smart practices.
My colleagues and I delivered a long-overdue infrastructure bill that is funding critical conservation and revitalization efforts across the country. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) received $5.5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to grow forest economies, combat climate change, and reduce wildfires. I was pleased to see the USFS recently invest $50 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help reduce wildfires and support healthy forests across the country. These funds will help enhance wildlife habitat, protect water quality, and keep our forests healthy.
In my fall column I highlighted the significant forestry-related investments in the Inflation Reduction Act, including $5 billion in forestry programs to ensure our public and private forest lands have the tools they need to address destructive fire seasons, restore forest ecosystems, tackle impacts from climate change, and more. The federal forest programs the Inflation Reduction Act supports help create quality jobs and strengthen rural economies. As the most forested state in the nation, this legislation’s impact will be instrumental in helping Maine’s forestry sector be part of the nature-based climate solution.
In addition to the recent investments from the USFS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced $30 million in federal funding through the Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities program for a transformational pilot program to help Maine and other New England landowners sequester and store carbon. Not only will this
As you all know, this past year has not been an easy one for the forest products industry. From mill shutdowns to low enrollment numbers, 2022 has brought an array of difficulties. This industry and its workers have stood strong, but after another tough year I think it’s fair to ask what your elected representatives are working on to support your industry and your jobs. Here is some of what I’ve been working on for loggers, logging truckers, mill workers, and other forest products industry workers in 2022.
Back in March, faced with data suggesting that over the next 10 years, 850 loggers and forest products workers are expected to reach retirement age, Northern Maine Community College (NMCC), the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, and I partnered to secure and announce dedicated funding for the Mechanized Logging Operations Training Program. Together, we secured $1 million in federal funding for the program, which will allow an overhaul of the facilities and programs that helps ensure our state is producing multi-skilled operators who can efficiently haul and run the equipment needed to harvest logs in our forests.
In June, we announced that the United States Forest Service awarded almost $2 million in grant funding to both Robbins Lumber in Searsmont for an innovative value-based scanning program and Standard Biocarbon Corporation in Enfield for a biomass energy system. This is a grant the Maine congressional delegation and I went to bat for and I’m glad we were able to get it over the finish line.
program reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it will also help the industry grow more and better-quality wood. Maine’s forestry industry has long embraced being sustainable, and this project expands on climate -smart practices and takes sustainability to a whole new level.
Last month, I joined a congressional delegation to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27). Important progress on sustainable forest management and conservation was made at COP27 with the launch of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), which aims to unite action by governments, businesses, and community leaders. FCLP will implement a plan endorsed by over 140 countries. including the United States, to halt forest loss and land degradation by 2030. By working together to reduce deforestation and implementing sustainable forest practices, the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global average temperature rise to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels can be reached.
In the 118th Congress, we must build upon these notable successes.
Every five years, Congress has an opportunity with the Farm Bill to better support our nation’s farmers and address the climate crisis. As co-chair of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) Climate and Agriculture Task Force, I was pleased to release a report covering recommendations for a climate-friendly 2023 Farm Bill. The Forestry and Wildfire section outlines recommendations to assist with forest management and restoration, support the wood products industry, and strengthen forestry research. In the next Congress, as a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, I see the 2023 Farm Bill as an opportunity to build upon the conservation and climate successes of the Inflation Reduction Act to help equip farmers and foresters with the tools they need to respond to the climate crisis. By promoting good soil management practices, climate-smart forestry, establishing new climate-friendly markets, and reducing wildfire risk through investments in federal forestry programs, the Farm Bill can further Maine’s climate goals while supporting our rural forestry communities.
I also worked with Senators Collins and King to bring $1 million in federal funding to Madison to support the new Forest Products Hub they’re building there. The funding we secured will help build a waste-to-energy biodigester to provide power to the facility and create more forest products jobs in the town.
These are just a few examples of the investments in forest products invention happening in our district. And even more is happening in the private sector, as I saw firsthand at Pleasant River Lumber in Enfield for the Forest Resources Association’s Annual Meeting in September.
Throughout the year, I talked with some of the loggers, land managers, and mill workers who make up our state’s forest products industry and in nearly every conversation, I heard about the progress being made in harvesting, management, and manufacturing. This industry is paving its own way for the future and I’ve been proud to support its members in any way I can. I stood with Maine forest products in 2022 and I look forward to doing the same in the new year.
In the meantime, our team is looking to support Maine forest products however we can. If you think we could be of service to you, please shoot our logger support team an email at MELoggerSupportTeam@mail.house.gov. We should get back to you quickly.
Even if your concerns are not forestry related, my team and I are here to help. Please let us know if we can help you solve problems you or your family is having with Medicare, Social Security, the VA, or other federal programs or agencies.
You can reach my staff at:
Lewiston: (207) 241-6767 Caribou: (207) 492-6009
Bangor: (207) 249-7400
49 The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2023
Rep. Chellie Pingree
Rep. Jared Golden
Professional Logging Contractors of Maine
108 Sewall St. P.O. Box 1036 Augusta, ME 04332